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  • Amie Gamboian

Lack of Commitment: A Dangerous Team Dysfunction

Most teams we work with have struggled with a lack of commitment, the third team dysfunction that prevents true cohesion. Whether the challenge is with varying degrees of commitment among team members, commitment that is assumed, or a flat-out deficit of commitment, this dysfunction can prevent teams from becoming truly healthy and effective.


When we look at overcoming the five dysfunctions, reaching the highest levels of commitment on a leadership team can only become

a reality when the foundation of trust is in place and the fear of conflict has been overcome. It’s fundamentally impossible for the team to achieve commitment without trusting one another and engaging in fierce conversations that highlight differences of opinions and ideas.


The commitment we’re referring to is about the team achieving results through genuine buy-in to important decisions, even when team members may initially disagree.

This kind of commitment is not about consensus. It’s actually defying the need to reach consensus and instead embracing the need to discover truth in order to reach the best possible decisions for the team. This is about a group of intelligent, driven and unified leaders owning their decisions, especially when they aren’t in full agreement with one another.


The key to getting there is for leaders to be in pursuit of best outcomes for the team, not just for themselves.

The team can reach commitment when they’re in a safe space to have healthy conflict, encourage differing opinions and perspectives, and confidently decide upon the best solution for the overall organization.


In the end, the leader must make the call on the decisions being made and the team must fully trust and back their leader by carrying out those decisions successfully. Clarifying and re-clarifying what’s been decided will ensure there’s no confusion among the ranks.


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